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Abstract

This study looks into the identity of brown female artists living in the post-colonial society of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan today. It examines the role, status, and ideals of a handful of women artists and educators from the '80s, mostly members of the Women Action Forum, who have helped define the current identity of Pakistani women by initiating feminist debates. The concept of feminism in post-colonial society is multidimensional and needs to be explored to combat the misconstrued and imposed identity of Pakistani women as miserable, second-grade citizens of the third world. Dominant religions and cultural practices in this region designate woman to a distinct status in society. In Islam, women are seen as the followers of Fatima—the leader of all Muslim women in paradise—and are ranked amongst the greatest humans (Qutbuddin, 2006, 249) while Hinduism considers them as devis—divine beings (Pintchman, 2011). With this socio-cultural mind set and confirming the persuasive relationship between feminist aesthetics and feminist theory as proposed by Hilde Hein (1999), we analyse works of selected female artists and aim to understand the current wave of feminism here. The investigation adopts ethnographic methods of research along with established approaches to historiography that involve discussing, collecting, documenting, digitizing and analysing the information.

Note on the Author

Sadia Pasha Kamran is a thinker, a theorist, and an art educator. Currently she is associated with Institute for Art & Culture, Lahore. Her research informs about her experience of teaching art history and her appreciation of indigenous teaching methodologies. She places the contemporary art of Pakistan within its socio-political and historical context to trace its development as it transforms from traditional to modern in contemporary practices. Conforming on the works of twentieth century thinkers of Postcolonialism, she evaluates the systems of knowledge production and art making according to the local sensibilities of art and design pedagogy and practice.

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